Walk-a-thon allows Kimball Electronics to give back

Photos by Traci Westcott/The Herald
Kimball Electronics employee Leia Byrd works at a tread desk at Kimball Electronics in Jasper on Thursday for a walk-a-thon to raise money for the company's giving circle. Byrd walks a little over a mile every day. "During the day you get a break and it helps you stay healthy," Byrd said. "It's awesome that we can do this, Scott [Saalman] came up with something we were already doing, why not raise money for it." 


JASPER — Employees at Kimball Electronics are walking while they work to raise money for the community.

In honor of Valentine’s Day this week and the heart theme that comes along with the holiday, Director of Communications Scott Saalman organized a walk-a-thon using the tread desks scattered through Kimball Electronics facilities. The desks allow employees to walk slowly — between 2 and 2.5 miles per hour — while they work on laptops.

Saalman got the idea for the walk-a-thon after talking to people at Kimball Electronics’ Romania plant. There, the employees were participating in an indoor 5K race. That conversation brought the tread desks to Saalman’s mind and sparked the idea for a walk-a-thon. The tread desks are fairly popular, he said, with about 15 people using them regularly during the week, so a heart-health themed walk-a-thon during Valentine’s Day week seemed like a fundraising opportunity for the company’s employee giving circle, Kimball Electronics Gives.

Kimball Electronics' Michael Mosher works at the tread desk at Kimball Electronics in Jasper on Thursday. "It's pretty exciting, Mosher said about the walk-a-thon "I thought, I'd better start walking a little more than I usually do."

Saalman is a co-leader of Kimball Electronics Gives, which is entering its second full year. The group is based off the employee giving circle at Jasper Engines & Transmissions, Jasper Endows Today and Tomorrow, which formed in 2013. Saalman said he’s watched how that giving circle has grown over the years and wants to see similar growth for Kimball Electronics Gives.

He already has big plans. Last year, the circle granted $6,000; this year, Saalman wants to double that. The first step is getting more members. Last year, 45 employees participated, each paying at least $120. This year, Saalman is working to recruit more participants. New members can join through August.

Saalman also plans to host more fundraising events for the giving circle this year. Last year, Saalman organized a Will Read and Sing for Food show to benefit Kimball Electronics Gives. Saalman isn’t running Will Read and Sing for Food anymore, but he still has plenty of ideas for Kimball Electronics Gives.

“It’s a way our company is giving back,” he said. “It’s great that we have a company that cares.”

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